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Erika Kumakura, Annette Werner, Kazuhiko Yokosawa; Effect of imagining another culture on color preference. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):866. doi: 10.1167/18.10.866.
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Previous studies have reported cultural difference in color preference. For example, Japanese people tend to prefer light colors over muted colors while US people tend to prefer both colors equally (Yokosawa, Schloss, Asano, & Palmer, 2016). What does determine color preference in a certain culture? Ecological Valence (EV) theory (Palmer & Schloss, 2010) expects that color preference is determined by the preference for objects associated with the colors, and implies that different sets of characteristically colored objects will cause cultural diversity in color preference. Extending this implication we ask whether imagination will have a similar effect, i.e., imagining objects/scenes typical of another culture, subjects' color preferences will become similar to color preferences characteristic for that culture. To investigate, we asked German subjects to rate (1) their original color preferences and (2) color preferences while imagining Japanese objects/scenes. In order to allow comparability with other data sets on color preferences, we used the Berkeley Color Project 37 colors applying a standard experimental procedure (Palmer & Schloss, 2010). None of subjects in this experiment stayed in Japan for more than one year. The results show that (1) German color preferences were more strongly correlated with US than with Japanese color preferences, and that (2) the color preferences did indeed change after imagining Japanese objects/scenes; in particular, the preference for light colors became higher than that for muted colors after imagining Japanese objects/scenes, as it is characteristic for Japanese color preferences. The results are consistent with recent findings by Yokosawa et al. (2016) and support the EV theory.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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